Top 3 Reasons To Foster A Shelter Pet

By Christine A. Bournias

dog with pet foster

What Is Pet Fostering?

The sad reality is that shelters are overcrowded and simply cannot host the volume of furry bodies in need. Fostering is a way to provide temporary care and/or housing for these animals that need to live in a home environment prior to adoption.

By no fault of their own, most often animals are hurt or have serious illnesses that can’t be overcome. Some have insurmountable surgeries that can’t be performed because the animal is too far gone or too old for critical care. These animals, especially senior animals, often are misplaced and are much more difficult to place.

dog back sitting in park on leash

Worse, certain animals are often discriminated against based on their appearance. Unfortunately, the Black Dog Syndrome is real and common amongst shelters. It comes down to which animals have a better chance of adoption. While the numbers are improving, black dogs and cats are more difficult to adopt.

DID YOU KNOW?
October 1 is National Black Dog Day! “A 1998 study of 1,468 dogs offered for adoption at a local Humane Society did find that dogs with black fur were a factor in whether they got adopted. However, at the same time in 2008, the general manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services found that in a 12-month period covering 30,046 dogs, slightly more dogs that were completely or predominantly black were adopted than dogs that were not. And these two aren’t the only contradictory studies.” —Ceasarsway.com, Why Black Dogs Are Less Likely To Be Adopted

Many rescue organizations that don’t have a brick and mortar building in order to host the volume of animals that need shelter are typically run by Foster Pet Parents alone.

Fostering is ideal for some people, but not so much for others. Nonetheless, you must be prepared for all the responsibilities that go along with caring for different animals that may not be your first pick.

man with cat closeup

Why Do Rescue Organizations Need You To Foster?

Global animal welfare organizations need to relieve overcrowding and place needy animals in permanent forever homes.

And foster homes are in dire need.

When an animal is given the chance to live in a temporary, yet safe and supportive sanctuary, their chances for adoption increase exponentially.

This mission of any shelter is for needy animals to live out their lives in a forever home.

Due to the 2020 pandemic , many shelters hastened their efforts to ‘clear the shelters.’ While that sounds good in theory, it’s more important than ever to make sure these animals remain in loving homes.

Fostering or adopting a pet during time “at home” is wonderful. But as you transition back to your life as you know it—and return back to their semi-regular schedule—make sure that you’re fostering for the betterment of the animal.

Always stay just as committed to your furry companion through any unexpected life circumstances. Foster because you’re truly able to do it, not because you’re ‘bored.’.

Scenarios That Call For Temporary Homes:

  • An animal that suffers from anxiety of shelter stress, especially animals that need extra attention. As they await permanent residence in a foster home, their stress diminishes and they become better acclimated to the life of everyday human home life.
  • Abandoned, neglected, or abused animals benefit from a healthy human bond
  • Disabled, ill, injured, or senior animals that need dedicated medical attention
  • Animals in need of socialization and training for a family environment
  • People who suffer an area emergency or disaster. Animals displaced due to natural disasters are often awaiting reunion with their families. As these families work to re-establish their lives, they rely heavily on pet fosters.
  • Nursing cats and dogs
  • Young kittens and puppies that are too young to be adopted

dog near window with sun shining in

A Shelter Has A Responsibility To Their Animals

Just because you’re fostering, doesn’t mean it’s not as serious as adopting.

Look to an organization that will match animals with homes that best fit the needs of both the animal and the pet foster’s lifestyle. A reputable rescue organization will conduct a thorough vetting process and will find unique ways to save lives and ensure a successful fostering experience.

What An Organization Looks For In A Foster Pet Parent:

  • High level of commitment
  • Serious ONLY applicants
  • Financial security
  • Animal experience
  • Patience and understanding of shelter’s thorough vetting process

To minimize potential disharmony, shelter experts recommend keeping foster pets and their existing furry companions apart at certain times.When it comes to acknowledging an existing household environment, experienced Foster Pet Parents make sure to have a balance between moderate separation and proper socialization. For example, Foster Pet Parents may walk their own dogs together, but will chose to separate them for playtime and meals.

woman holding dog

A Foster Family Has A Responsibility To A Shelter Animal

Just like searching for the perfect adoptee for the animal’s forever home, a reputable rescue organization will also seek out an ideal candidate for pet fostering as well.

The organization who arranges your fostering journey should provide proper information about the animal you’re about to foster. Inquiry about your shelter pet’s entire medical history and temperament before bringing the shelter animal to meet the rest of the family—including other fur family members is a must.

boy with dog on yellow sofa

Make sure that the rescue organization is straightforward with you on either a clean bill of health or other pre-existing concerns that the shelter animal may have. If your animal is sick from the beginning, know what you’re getting yourself into.

The rescue or shelter needs to tell you any and all conditions upfront. Be sure that you have access and disclosure as to the animals health history, as well as their complete Veterinarian’s directives.

You’ll be assigned to take your foster to their Veterinarian visits with medical expenses covered by the organization. In order to increase their adoption chances, you’ll be asked to attend adoption events with your foster pet

When it comes to essential supplies, training, and special needs, there’s typically a pivot contact person from the shelter. That contact person should be able to provide you access to proper veterinary care or health & wellness clinics, as well as a 24-hour emergency number, should a problem arise.

vet with cat

Do YOU Have The Right Stuff To Foster?

Not certain you have what it takes to foster a shelter animal? While fostering is a heroic gesture, it isn’t the right choice for all. Therefore, it’s important to make a wise and foresighted decision.

A Foster Pet Parent has a vital role to play in this animal’s life. Fostering a shelter pet shouldn’t be taken lightly. Fosters are essential for the health and well-being of the animal.

As a temporary guardian to a dog or cat in need, Foster Pet Parents are the animal’s advocate. You represent them to the public and are their voice.

Why NOT you?

dog bandaged paw

How Do You Foster Without Falling In Love?

The rescue organization has approached you with the idea of fostering an animal from the rescue organization you support. Now what?

Remember, if you foster an animal, don’t think you won’t fall in love with them. You do fall in love. But, you’re fostering shelter animals to save lives.

“Fostering provides a great way for shelter animals to transition to a new home. When an animal in need receives the opportunity to live in a home environment, the fostering experience teaches the animal basic house manners, as well as the chance to socialize with people and other animals. It’s your opportunity to help animals without a long term commitment.” —Nicole A.

Fostering is one of the most unselfish things you can do for the love of an animal in need.

Foster = Love

Shelter animals usually find you, not the other way around. You have to decide if fostering a shelter animal is for you. Is it the right timing in your life—and do you have the resilience to do so?

woman with dog at park

What It Takes To Foster

Inner strength.

People will impose their beliefs on you and tell you that they just could never foster. Don’t let their own weaknesses deter you.

Be prepared, they’ll ask these questions:

  • “Why do you foster? (I couldn’t do it.)”
  • “How can you be a Foster Pet Parent without getting attached?”
  • “Doesn’t it hurt when you have to say good-bye?”

You got this.

Answer: Fostering gives a shelter pet a chance to know what true love is.

Here’s the reality: Fosters save lives. And shelters need you.

Characteristics Of A Foster Caregiver:

  • Compassionate
  • Committed
  • Devoted
  • Experienced
  • Gentle
  • Patience
  • Stamina

Be the reason they love humans.

pet adoption family

NOW Could Be Your Opportunity To Foster

You love your community. And you LOVE animals. Maybe it’s finally time to consider making the move to foster an animal in need?

Your philanthropic gestures do not go unnoticed and you’d do anything to save an animal in need. You give your heart and soul to help support your local rescue organizations by donating money—and precious time—to volunteer at the shelters.

Now you’re in the position to do more. It might just be the perfect time to foster a shelter pet.

Fostering an animal is gratifying and rewarding—it saves lives. Opening up your home to foster an animal in need can help the organization free up a spot for another animal in need also.

Most notable, it may provide you with the opportunity to channel the love you have for animals by caregiving for foster pet(s). By fostering, you have the honor of providing encouragement to an animal in their crucial stages of their life’s journey to being adopted.

woman kissing dog

3 Reasons To Be A Foster Pet Parent

1. Offers You The Opportunity To Give Back To Your Community

Can’t adopt just yet? Fostering is an excellent alternative. Helping your community by getting involved in adoption events is a good way to make a difference. Search the Petfinder database for local animal welfare organizations that could benefit from your fostering duties.

“Animal welfare organizations work to place lost, abandoned, abused, and relinquished animals in permanent homes. This helps relieve overcrowding and reduces an animal’s stress by providing a temporary and supportive sanctuary while he awaits permanent adoption.” —Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

Contact your local organizations and rescue groups to learn about specific opportunities near you. In fact, Best Friends Pet Hotel is hosting adoption events at Pet Hotels near you.

woman with dog at park

Make Philanthropic Gestures

Fostering a shelter pet is a positive next step toward their forever home. What a better way to give back to your community and to the betterment, health, and well-being of pets in your area.

Follow Neighborhood Rules

Every county and town is different with the amount of animals allowed. Abide by your individual city laws and animal limits per household.

Stay Community Focused

1. Volunteer Where Your Passion Is
2. Help Needy Animals At Your Local Shelter
3. Make A Difference

woman kissing dog

2. Provides More Room In A Shelter

Fostering an animal in need is the most courageous thing you can do. When you foster one shelter animal, that leaves space for another needy animal to be saved.

You’re saving lives when you foster by giving an animal in need a chance at life. In addition, when you foster and you’re unable to own a pet due to lifestyle restrictions, you’ll reap benefits of pet ownership.

Why Animals In Need Benefit From Foster Pet Parents:

    • While animals are awaiting adoption, fostering offers a safe and supportive environment
    • Fostering reduces an animal’s stress by placing them in a comfortable home
    • By fostering, you improve an animal’s chances of obtaining qualified adoption applicants that can lead to adoption
    • When you foster a shelter pet, you have the chance to enhance their adoption potential
    • Many times relatives or friends of Military members don’t have the experience or cannot commit to long-term deployments. Fostering an animal for a military member provides a temporary, safe home to animals that anticipate being reunited with families following an emergency, natural disaster, or military deployment

According to Dog Is My CoPilot”, these two organizations help provide fostering services for deployed service member’s pet:

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Assists active duty deploying military service members, wounded warriors and honorably discharged/disabled veterans with medical/homeless hardship situations to reunite them with their pets following deployments and/or hardships.

Dogs on Deployment : Facilitates an online community to arrange fosters for deployment, family illness. or any other circumstances that render a service member temporarily unable to care for a pet. This online resource was founded by an active duty husband and wife team.

military dog

Steps To Consider When Fostering:

      1. Make sure you’re ready to foster by considering all aspects of your life
      2. Consider other family members and/or household pets
      3. Conduct breed research, animal’s history, and temperament assessment
      4. If applicable, know how and when to separate your foster pet from other family members
      5. Work with a reputable rescue organization
      6. Provide a safe, calm home environment
      7. Keep animals secure with a fence and/or other escape barriers
      8. Communicate with one contact person during the transition and fostering process
      9. Look for transparency on medical health of animal
      10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

dog giving paw to woman

At Home With Your Foster Pet?

There are several things you can do for your foster pet to have a good temporary home.

Homemade tunnels and obstacle courses and hide and seek sessions can be a wonderful way to provide a positive experience for your shelter pet. Nose tricks and interactive mind games help them stay alert. Interesting mental stimulation outside of a loud shelter is always positve.

Treat your furry friend to a frozen favorite dispensing toy or a spa-like pet massage in order to ease stress and comfort tired muscles. Just for fun, you can bake sticky treats for dogs or make a tuna snack for your cat.

girl reading to dog on bed

Venture Out With Your Foster Pet

Be sure to stay in shape together, enjoy the outdoors, read to them, sing them songs, and go for long walks together. Whether it’s a new direction around the block or a curious sniff and walk, adding adventure to you and your pet’s life is worth the extra energy you will expend.

Jumping through hoops will be new and different for your fostered pet. Also, training courses with a foster dog can be pivotal in their life. Encourage desired behavior and enjoy the process of making mistakes.

dog in grass

Give Them A Good Life: Camp Options

If it’s a dog you’re fostering, seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel to watch your pets when/if they’re approved to be around other pets. New adventures and Doggy Day Camp offer an unique experience for your foster pet.

Camp benefits your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Remember current vaccinations are required for an interview assessment.

Best Friends Pet Hotel tennis ball
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Avon)

3. Allows You The Chance To Love Other Pets

Fostering makes you feel needed. It expands the love in your heart. You’re a better person just by knowing another “furry” somebody else. You could be just the person they’re searching for to help them.

Fostering a shelter animal isn’t a replacement for adopting one of your own or filling the void in your heart when you lose your furry family member. It still takes a special person to foster other pets. Remember, your fostered shelter pet is a completely different animal than your own.

Enjoy The Foster Pet For Everything They Are

A foster pet can bring a sense of joy and fresh starts to a family and their future family.

Perhaps you’re still healing through the mourning process of losing a beloved pet? Keep your pet memories alive, but take the time you need to heal. Focus on everything your foster pet is and not what they’re not. Whatever you do, try not to compare the two.

Loving a pet is good for you.

woman with cat's head on shoulder

What Is A “Failed Foster?

Most Foster Pet Parents realize when the time comes to let go. They relinquish the shelter pet to another person for adoption because they recognize it’s in the best long-term interests of the animal to have a permanent home.

Foster Pet Parents are there to shepherd the journey for the animals next stage in life. It gives us a chance to channel our love and passion for what we believe in.

However, some Foster Pet Parents fail.

“Sometimes volunteers become so attached to the animals in their charge that they legally adopt them. This is known as a ‘foster failure’ because the capacity of the volunteer to care for other ‘temporary’ pets is diminished by one.”Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

It’s common for fosters who are caring for animals for an extended period of time to develop strong bonds that lead to ‘foster failure.’ Some Foster Pet Parents get too attached to their shelter pets and keep them as their own. This failure situation is acceptable. While they fail the fostering process, they succeed at giving that animal a winning home.

woman hugging big dog

Fostering a shelter animal provides temporary care to those furry friends who benefit from living in a home environment. It’s a terrific way to give a shelter animal a chance, while at the same time enhancing your own life with the responsibility and companionship of an adoring pet.

So, do you have room in your family for one more?

Consider fostering a shelter pet—you could be the best thing that happens to that animal. You might just be that person that’s a lifetime Foster Pet Parent that both your local shelter and community rely on.

Good luck with your decision. We’re here to help.

 

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.

New Family Addition: Pet Introductions Made Easy

By Christine A. Bournias

adopted dog with family

Contemplating A New Addition To The Family? ​

You’re thinking about bringing a new pet into your family.

You saw a photo of a puppy online and you just have to have him. Besides, you’re at home more—and you’re “bored.”

Not so fast. Take a breath. Think it through.

Animals are adorable and cuddly. But, are you ​really​ ready for a new addition to your family? Ask yourself: Is ​now​ a good time for one more responsibility? It’s much better to regard your decision ​before​ you make up your mind based on cuteness alone.

Sometimes love is not enough. Neither is cute. What you want and what you need are two separate things.

Okay, okay. Yes. You’re ready for a new pet!

You Decided To Adopt A Pet. Now What?​

The local shelter is “emptying” the shelter, and you heard it’s an ideal time to adopt an animal.
With ​current animal considerations and almost the entire world under government regulation ​to self isolate, you’re convinced that a new pet for your family will be a good move to occupy your time—and home.

●   Consider your lifestyle outside of self isolation
●   Think long term
●   Inspect your current environment
●   Avoid making rash decisions based on emotions alone
●   Discuss pet responsibility with your family

pet mom kissing adopted dog pug mix

​Welcome To Your New Home. Be A Good Boy. ​

Congratulations! You decided to bring a new member into your household.

Love wins, but there’s more to owning a pet than love. This cute ​little​ bundle of fluff is a live breathable creature that will grow up and be a ​large​ breathable creature that needs you from day one.

Tiny kittens transform into grown cats. And puppies get big. Therefore, you must know how to love animals ​and​ be committed to their entire life as they sprout up.

young girl with adopted cat

Pet Introductions: It’s Not Easy. But, It’s Not Impossible. ​

When you haven’t been used to having a ​best friend at home, you might be rusty on what it takes to properly care for your new pet.

Perhaps you already have a houseful of humans to care for, or you have many other pets running around your home.

Do you currently have an older cat that rules the house? Are there young children or senior citizens living with you? Expecting a baby? Or teenage girls? Can you handle a whimpering pup, or could you commit to rescuing a special needs kitten instead? Maybe working with a senior dog is suited for your family?

How will all these moving parts meld together with your existing family? ​

 

Be Smart About Your New Family Pet Additions ​

Whether your new member of the family is a dog—or cat—you want to prepare your household and accommodate your home for your pet’s arrival.

​FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:
1. Are you ready to take on the responsibility that comes with caring for a pet?
2. Is your entire family and living situation suitable for bringing in a new family member?
3. Most importantly, is your budget aligned to care for your pet properly?

Getting a new pet requires responsibility and hard work. In order to be a successful Pet Parent, your pet requires from you rigor, discipline, financial commitment, and a lifetime of devotion.

​Pet Parent Success Takes Planning. And Patience. ​

A new pet. It’s not as simple as it seems. But, with a little guidance and lots of patience, you can become a pro. We’re here to help:

​3 Simple Tips Before You Introduce A New Pet Into Your Family ​ ​

 

1. Avoid Rash Decisions

Is Your Entire Family Ready For A New Pet? ​

If you base your new pet decision based on emotion alone, you may be in for a big surprise.

Do your homework and don’t make reckless decisions at the expense of an animal’s life. Quick decisions can lead to trouble. You may not be able to provide the ideal home for your new pet—or worse, you could find yourself having to relinquish a pet if you simply can’t care for them properly.

You wouldn’t relinquish your human child, why would it be any different with your fur kid?

Your new puppy is a forever commitment, not a pair of shoes.

Please explore all options if a new pet is a good fit ​before​ the final adoption or purchasing process.

​Still A Good Time To Get A New Pet? ​

While certain breeders and animal shelters have a return policy in place, a new pet shouldn’t be temporary. You can’t try out your new pet for size, reassuring yourself that you can always take them back if they’re not perfect.

Their paws may track in mud on your new flooring, their barking might be persistent, and their excited tail may knock over a few family heirlooms when it wags.

Think about a ​forever​ home for your best friend.

family deciding, adopting dog

Get Agreement From Your Family To Add A Pet ​

Please be certain that both you and your family can provide a suitable environment for your new furry friend. It takes commitment from the ​entire​ family.

The whole family needs to be on-board from the get-go.

It’s a tough decision ​not​ to get a new pet, but not as tough as it would be if you discover that each member of your family is not committed to caring for your pet.

“When I adopted Louie, he displayed many challenging behaviors that made me question my decision to adopt him. I learned quickly that I had two choices to make; 1) to keep him and 2) to love him. My family had to be on-board with that decision as well. A large part of loving Louie was having him (and me), my grandchildren, and Louie’s alpha pups properly trained.” —Danise DiStasi, Author ​Love Like Louie

A new pet is not a toy.

Be smart about your pet decision. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re not busy working. Pets require more than a bowl of kibble and minimal attention every once in a while.

All pets are loving, breathable beings, and deserve a forever home with a lifetime commitment. Make sure they fit in well within your current situation and overall lifestyle.

 

teenage boy with adopted dog

2. Do Your Research

Take action ​now​ on what kind of animal you would like to care for. Research dog and cat breeds ahead of time to determine temperament and common traits.

Dog breeds ​​aren’t created equal. Determine the kind of animal you would like, and study the breed at great lengths to understand common tendencies and behaviors. This research will help in determining if a new pet will align with your lifestyle and household.

Know your family.

A household with grown teenage boys or a family with an infant are two (2) completely different circumstances. Newborns require around the clock care, young children become restless, and teenagers get bored easily.

Consider your current family arrangement and talk with your family to gauge commitment on time investment for a pet.

Together, take a vow to invest time with your new furry family member.

Are you always on the go? Or, are you more of a couch potato? Do you want to purchase a pet? Or, do you have room in your heart and home to adopt? Regardless, do your homework on the animal.

These initial questions will guide you to the appropriate breed. ​

Pet Adoption ​

Adoption is not for everybody, but if it’s for you, be cautious of organizations that give away animals or try to ‘empty’ their facility in a short amount of time with little to no adoption cost per animal.

Instead, look for organizations that focus on ​keeping​ those animals in forever homes.

It’s important to find a rescue organization that’s in business for the betterment of the animal. Make sure they’re not just keeping their doors open for money only. Avoid risky organizations that are merely trying to clear out their cages fast.

It’s a good sign if the shelter or rescue organization asks you what you’re doing for the next 10-14 years of your life to determine your commitment and responsibility level. You’ll know right away if the organization is in it for the animal. And if you’re not sure, consult a pet professional or experienced rescuer for sound advice.

 

If a rescue organization requires strict background checks, welcome the scrutiny. You’ll know they have the best interest of the animal if they take time to ask you for personal references. Look for organizations that conduct home checks and thorough lifestyle interviews.

 

Rescuing a pet is more than a huge decision. It’s for their lifetime.

A new pet is a forever decision, not a fleeting moment. With fur kids, you’re responsible for every single decision of their life—from the time your eyes meet behind cage bars, to the time you’re cradling them in your arms and they’re taking their last breath.

You’re their whole world. You owe it to your new pet to be theirs. ​

 

Pet Purchase & Purebred ​

You may have your heart set on a ​​certain breed. If you choose a reputable breeder for your new puppy, be mindful of your puppy’s health and their parent bloodline. Research the ideal time to separate a puppy from his mother and littermates, and become familiar with the various ​​stages of a dog’s life​.​

big dog kissing little dog

​DID YOU KNOW? ​
If you’re looking for a particular kind of pet, remember that there are many accommodating purebred rescue organizations to choose from.

 

Remember, not all pets are a good fit. Period.

 

Save the heartbreak. If you’re not ready to be a pet caregiver, please reconsider your decision until either your commitment level, lifestyle, and/or environment changes to a life with a pet. Better to know now than to make unfortunate adjustments later. Getting a new pet when you’re not ready will make NOBODY happy. You and your new pet deserve more.

 

Sometimes a human family and a dog just don’t connect well with one another. It happens.

A Chihuahua is much different than a Great Dane. Not all breeds are consistent within the breed either. Every pet is unique—even within the same breed. But, researching common denominators before you make the leap of adding a new addition to your family is critical.

 

adopted dog licking young girl's face in yard

“Dogs.They come into our lives to teach us something. Your pet picks you, not the other way around.” —​ Unknown

 

​Regular Medical Health Check Ups Are A Must ​

Medical health exams are critical throughout the entire life of your pet, particularly during the initial stages of bringing your new pet into your home. Keep up with check-ups and consult a ​trusted Veterinarian ​​for the best care for your new fur family member. Plan out your costs to care for your pet’s ​​vaccinations ​​ahead of time.

veterinarian with adopted cat

Pet essentials, pet health insurance, quality pet food, pet products, and pet extras all cost money. Providing a safe environment for your dog to roam and romp is vital for mental stimulation and physical activity. Playing fetch or walking your dog all require your time.

 

dog dressed as vet with white coat and stethoscope

Other considerations include ​​grooming, Doggy Day Camp, and ​boarding with stay and play ​options. In addition, many ​reputable pet care organizations ​​conduct careful assessments for size and temperament. Most will provide one to one care for pets that need individual attention and don’t fair well in a group setting.

Consider Existing Household Pets ​

Slow and steady is the key. If you have specific questions, consult a pet professional first. ​

Dogs And Dogs ​

Pets that have been at your home longest usually will try to establish their territory. Think like a dog. It’s all about dominance and pecking order, so introductions need to be slow and intentional.

two dogs kissing on leashes

Two dogs can definitely be company, but make sure you are deliberate in your approach. Introduce a new pet on neutral turf first and conduct walk-bys.

 

​DID YOU KNOW?

Dogs want to please us. We need to show them how.

 

Book a tour of the facility. Schedule an interview for your pet to see if daycare is a good option for your family.

Dog professionals will look at your dog’s size and temperament to determine the best Doggy Day Camp options. Most established pet care facilities practice strict safety measures and will require pet vaccines. As a bonus, many also provide attractive offers to new guests​.

 

dog professional walking adopted dog on leash for advanced tips to learn how to add a new member to your existing fur family and unique situation. Make sure you make a concentrated effort to put a ​​training plan ​​in place for your dog.

Cats And Dogs ​

If a dog and cat didn’t grow up together, it can be challenging to meld the two lives. They’re different species, with different needs. Ask your ​pet expert professional ​for additional consultation.

adopted cat and dog in backyard

Provide an exercise outlet for your pet. Take time for playtime. Make time to rest. There are innovative ways to keep your pet occupied and entertained when you’re ​at home ​too.

3. Be Deliberate.

Go slow and steady with introductions with your family. ​

New Babies ​

When coming home from the hospital, greet the family pet first. Kids are unpredictable. So are dogs. If you have a new baby home, allow your new pet to sniff items of your baby (like a bib or cap) before you enter the house. Your sense of smell is intense and a ​dog’s nose tells a whole story about how they see the world. ​

NEVER leave a baby unattended. Even the gentlest, tamest dog can be provoked by sudden movements like a child reaching over its head or grabbing its tail or ears. Unprovoked and unpredictable bites happen when people aren’t paying attention to BOTH the child and the pet. Pet owners are held accountable for undesirable and dangerous actions.

Consult a professional Dog Trainer or Dog Behaviorist to get ready for your pet’s (or baby’s) big arrival.

adopted dog meeting baby

Share pet responsibility with the family. Allow each member of the family to share in the responsibility of feeding, walking, and playtime. Those proactive actions will strengthen your bond and promote desired behavior and good habits. Hand feed kibble every once in a while will earn your pet’s trust. But remember to ​​allow your dog to be their own dog ​from time to time.

 

​Introduction Tips Can Make New Pet Additions A Breeze ​

“Love depends on how we view others…The characteristics of a loving person are patience, kindness, truthfulness, and trustworthiness.” —​ ​ ​Danise DiStasi, Author ​

woman holding dog against cheek, yellow background

  • Know why love is important. Be there at the beginning of their life. Be there until the end of their life. When the time comes, help your pet cross over that ‘rainbow bridge.’ Recognize ​how and when to let go.

pet dad high diving new adopted dog on couch

​Final New Pet Addition Thoughts ​

Just because the dog in the window is cute, doesn’t mean that they’re right for your family.

Take the time to make a careful decision for their ​forever​ home. Love is not enough. Commitment is a lifetime and not a fleeting moment. Keep your new pet happy and comfortable during their entire life. No shortcuts, do it well.

We’ll be here to assist you throughout your pet’s entire life journey.

adopted dog snuggling with cat

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.